Researchers in applied mathematics are developing a program that could be added to the COVID alert app used on smartphones to better target vaccination campaigns. Instead of targeting specific geographies or demographic groups, the researchers propose a strategy based on individual contacts.
“Digital contact tracing apps can be a simple way to optimize vaccination strategies without people having to give up private information,” said Mark Penney, a researcher in the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Waterloo.
Penney and co-authors recently released a research study showing that such a strategy would almost half the number of vaccines required to bring the pandemic under control.
The research paper, “Hot-spotting’ to improve vaccine allocation by harnessing digital contact tracing technology: an application of percolation theory,” with co-authors Yigit Yargic, Lee Smolin, Edward W. Thommes, Madhur Anand and Chris T. Bauch, was published in the journal PLoS ONE.
Read more in the media release on Waterloo News.